Boise beekeepers urge standards
2001-10-15 : 8:53:19 - Liz Wyatt - http://www.idahostatesman.com/
Hobbyists want to be covered by zoning laws
Past the grapevines and beyond the tangly patch of cabbages, carrots and other vegetables, Allan Montgomery keeps his bees.
About a half a million of them.
That's about how many it takes to work in the eight small hives at Montgomery's Northwest Boise home, a quarter-acre property not far from State Street
"I just keep them for a hobby and for the honey," said Montgomery, who wore a hood and thick overalls and carried a smoker to calm the bees recently as he opened a hive.
Montgomery -- one of an unknown number of hobbyist beekeepers in the city -- worries he could lose his bees because Boise has nothing in its zoning laws that addresses beekeeping.
He and other keepers of honeybees are backing a proposed change to Boise's zoning ordinance that sets standards for beekeeping in the city
It would be applied only to hobbyists -- not commercial beekeepers -- and only to honey bees. Commercial beekeeping generally would not be allowed in residential areas
"The purpose of the amendment is to provide some requirements so beekeeping is done in a way to avoid nuisances and problems," said the city of Boise's neighborhood planner, Mike Hall. He drafted the plan after Montgomery and others asked for it. "This is something staff is doing in response to the neighborhood."
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